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tv   116th Congress Freshmen Profile Interviews Part 3  CSPAN  January 26, 2019 10:28pm-10:59pm EST

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taking billions of dollars away from that would be very problematic. so i think there will be a bipartisan effort to take a look at that 1976 law and see if it granted the executive too much power. >> we have reported that the pentagon has already been tasked with developing plans for this barrier. are you aware of that and how in along that planning is process? >> i'm not, and i've heard the same rumors you have, seen the same stories. we don't have anything confirmed, again, about these questions that we would really like answered. >> "newsmakers" with congressman adam smith of washington, chair of the armed services committee, sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. to the brookings institution, the 116th congress is the most educated congress in
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history with 72% of the house having earned a graduate degree. c-span recently spoke with some of the new members. mark rutte chris pappas was firstd to new hampshire's congressional district. he is a restaurant owner and the first openly gay member of congress from new hampshire. i read democrats have been trying to recruit you to run for a long time. why did you say no before? why did you say yes this time? >> i care deeply about the state i grew up in, where i run a small business, and where i served at the statehouse for a number of years. i needed to make sure i was meeting my responsibility to the voters who elected me to my state office. this seemed like an important time to step up and be counted and to put together the kind of campaign we needed to be able to restore faith in the institutions of our government and to be able to get some things done. while i may have heard before from folks who wanted me to run at a different point in time, this was the right time for me
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to do it. i did it at a time where people were running campaigns all across the country just like the one we were running in new hampshire about issues that are critically important like lowering the cost of health care, reforming the >> what were you doing before you ran? >> i was running a business in had mily for 101 years, i to step back from that but i have capable family members who are shepherding the business forward, i serve on an interest executive council, it is a five-member board of directors that the governor has to run all f his or her decisions through terms of state appointments and contracts, it gave me a vantage point to see how federal funds flowing to states, how programs are valuable command our role in washington has implications to how state governments can
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function as well. i will not lose sight of that here. >> your 38 years old, this experience you had you for coming to washington, how do you think it will impact you here? chris: we all come with different sets of experiences, you would not want an incoming class or congress made up of people who are from the same rofession, from the same socioeconomic or racial background, it is important we have diversity. one of the wonderful things about this new class is it looks more like the rest of america. it will reinvigorate congress's ability to respond to issues out there. i look at the incoming classes, it is grounded in district across the country in terms of the concerns that people have and we will work hard to give voice to those concerns and help try to put the focus on not divisive politics but how we can achieve results. >> what is your reaction when you see headlines like democrat chris cap's heads to congress after bitter congressional district race. hris: we did not have a bitter
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race, our race was really positive, it was constructive, it was responding to the needs of the people of new hampshire, and i had a cordial contest with the republican, i had a cordial contest with 10 other democrats in a primary that was decided september 11. it was a positive process and i think the people of new hampshire and the people of america deserve representatives in washington who are going to push the politics aside and focus on them, that is why we were sent here and we cannot lose sight of that. >> you are replacing someone, hat are your priorities to appeal to democrats and republicans in your district? chris: lots of the incoming class represent districts that may not have always elected embers of their party. it is critical for us out of the gate to respond by stepping up so we can answer the constituent calls that will be coming in. as someone who has run a
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restaurant business, customer service is important so having a strong district operation that will respond to the people of new hampshire is critical. it we have to make sure that we leverage more resources to fight the opioid crisis in new hampshire and across the country. 52,000 individuals and americans -- in america lost their lives to an overdose death last year. we have to invest in treatment, recovery, and prevention so we can reduce the number of people who are losing their lives to this. the fact that the first bill out of the gate will be that the -- a democracy reform package is exciting, we have to reform our campaign finance system, protect the right to vote, make sure that we promote and restore people's faith in the institutions and that bill will help us do that. beyond that, we have to respond to the needs of people in terms of having a affordable access to health care. that's a critical concern, regardless of whether you're a
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democrat or a republican. you pay that bill, it will go up and up. we have to lower the cost of premiums and prescription drugs. >> another headline about you is that you have become new hampshire's first openly gay member of congress. is that a big deal? chris: i think it is important that everyone has a seat at the table. i think it is critically important as we consider pushing forward the equality act to make sure that there is no discrimination anywhere in this country regardless of who you are or who you love, and that is an important bill that will be a priority of this house this year. in addition, it is critical that everyone is represented, everyone has a seat at the table. i did not run to make history, i ran to try to make a difference for the people of my home state, but there is value to sending the message that everyone is welcome in the public square and everyone has something to contribute to the political process. i grew up questioning as a high school kid in my hometown wondering if i could even have a place within that community and now to be representing the people of new hampshire's first
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district in congress is a amazing trajectory and it shows the arc of history and how much progress we have made over the last few years. to the extent that my election sends a positive signal, that is a healthy thing and i hope it shows everyone should be included. >> who have been your mentors in life? >> i have had so many, i have had political mentors, mentors within my own family, when you grow up in a restaurant business, you learn about the world around you through that experience and i learned early on that it is not about you, it is not about the bottom-line, it is about how you look out for people and what your role is in the larger community and that allowed me to transition into public service in an interesting way. larger community and that allowed me to transition into public service in an interesting way. in new hampshire, where we have a citizen led government. that is what politics has to be about, it has to in new hampshire, where we have a citizen led government. that is what politics has to be about, it has to be about not egos, not trying to be the loudest or most provocative person in the room and looking work together and make things happen. people want to see some
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middle-class people. that is our charge. >> kelly armstrong is the newly elected representative for north dakota's at large district. he is the republican party chair an energy firm executive. >> you were a state senator and you ran as a trump republican, what does that mean? >> we support states rights and with this president -- what this president has done is spend more time in north dakota than the last five administrations combined. they care about agriculture and oil and gas and the midwestern boom. making sure north to coda government and people are in charge of our destiny. >> what will you bring from that experience? >> i got elected in 2012 and i share our senate judiciary committee and justice
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reinvestment committee. i was involved in the oil and gas industry and before that i was a criminal defense attorney for 10 years. hope having a well rounded approach and making sure the federal government stays in its own lane allows the people to move forward and continue to do what we do best which his feet empower power the country. >> when did you decide you would run, who did you talk to? kelly: i decided to run a day after congressman cramer announced for the senate race in the first person i talked to and she talked to me was my wife. 48 later, we had an entire campaign up and running so it was off to the races. >> what is that conversation like about the kind of journey you are about to take? >> i was serving as a state republican chairman and so she gets to hear a lot, she is my closest confidant and my best friend. when this happened quickly she was kind of like, why do you
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run? i spent a lot of time speaking to rick berg, the congressman before kevin cramer and we talked for an hour and 45 ethics, not about how but his son was between my kids age when he ran the first time. before we made any decision, i love the people of north dakota and i am excited to serve but i had to make sure my family was on board and we were ready to take this jump together. he said you can do it, it is great if you embrace it and make sure that your family and your kids are a priority, it is a wonderful experience for them to watch how you can watch not only the things that they get access to while you are in washington, d.c. but to get a really good taste a public service at a young age. >> how do you make them a priority, what did he tell you? >> he said you bring them out, there are things they can enjoy. my daughter will help us stuff envelopes and in a month they will -- she will give the best two or in the capital.
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my wife is from oslo, norway. our kids have had the luxury of travel all over the world, she makes it a point to get back home once in a while and take her kids, they are used to being on airplanes, when you live in north dakota, you are used to traveling and it will be an exciting experience. my daughter is 11 and my son is eight. >> what did they say about you running? >> it has been great. we were lucky, we ran a positive campaign, we never ran a single it's been a learning process. they've been fantastic. we spent thanksgiving weekend at universal studios. >> what was their reaction when you one? >> they have been my biggest supporters throughout the whole thing. they are moving forward. i couldn't do this without their
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support. it's been great. >> what are your priorities for the 116th congress? but we do want to do is build coalitions and work, there's an infrastructure package out there to get done. people in my state and across the countries want to see congress come together on issues. we all know we are going to bite -- fight. we've been fighting since our founding. there are issues we can come together on. it's good for the whole country. >> explain why the farm bill is important to your state. >> it's, agriculture and an
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energy are the acre tenets. agriculture has a direct relationship to every community in north dakota. it's a way of life in our state. two years ago, we had the worst drought in a generation. this year, we had soft commodity prices. now more than ever, we need long-term security. ensuring that we have safety nets in place for the people that grow the food for the whole world. how much time you plan to spend out here versus back home and the logistics of getting back home. where do you plan to live out here? >> we found a place close to the capital. it was important to make sure my family has around space. -- their own space. i want my kids to become people when they're out here. we just were used to it. i live in mountain time.
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when i land in bismarck, i get home in 15 minutes. it makes for some early mornings. i'm an old bow hunter. we will drive out early morning. you just have to. if you forget who you work for for five minutes, you will have problems in d.c.. >> leprechaun ride and plane rides? how long are those? >> we fly from d.c. to minneapolis to bismarck. minneapolis, 2.5 hours. minneapolis to bismarck, one hour. then it's one hour and 20 minutes to drive home. , and afghanistan war veterans, was elected to serve new york's 11th district. >> why did you decide to run? because ied to run
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had a ton of frustration everywhere you go. democrats and republicans are not working together. there's this gridlock. our problems are staring us in the face. we feel like we are being lied to. i thought back to the soldiers why served with. congress didn't care about c-span or msnbc or fox. we need more of that around here. big, bold, dynamic solutions. i want to be a part of that story. i think it's possible. >> when did you serve? why did you join the military? >> i'm still in. i've been in under nine years. i'm a captain in the national
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guard. served in afghanistan over five years ago. enlisted for the same reason why i decided to do this. public service is in my blood. i can't fully explain it. this is how i want to spend the rest of my life. serving others. trying to build an even better country. i can't wait. i feel blessed. >> who or what inspired you to want to serve this country? --if anyone tells you you they have one singular answer to that, they are lying to you. i think about so many different things. my parents, my mother is a community college professor. i think about mentors i had like 10 thomson. -- ken thompson. he enacted bold criminal justice reform initiatives. it was an honor to learn from him. i think about the soldiers i served with.
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who had reallye done things that showed incredible courage and integrity. at one point, people said those things were impossible. let's continue to push the ball forward. do things that others say, that cannot be done. i don't believe that. >> who are you replacing? have you received any advice? >> i am replacing dan donovan. i commend him for decades of service to staten island and south brooklyn. i had the privilege to meet with him after the election, talk about ways that my office can take the baton from his and make sure we are handling affairs correctly. that's what's most important. he was never my enemy. i was never his. when i served in afghanistan, the taliban was my enemy. we have so many enemies as a country. we have to stop thinking that the person on the other side of the political aisle is our
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enemy. >> democrat mike levin was elected to california's 49th district. he's an environmental attorney and succeeds darrell issa who retired after serving nine terms. >> what really doing before you ran for office? >> i was in environmental attorney. i've been involved in the clean energy industry out in california. we have done a lot to advance things like electric vehicles, battery storage. really reduce our greenhouse gas footprint. i helped found the nonprofit for that industry in orange county and have worked across the aisle to get things done in the clean energy policy space, including a renewable energy standard and now some very forward thinking renewable energy policies in california that i hope can become a national model. that's one of the things i've done. i used to run the democratic party in north county. i was following all these other
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races perhaps more than a candidate should. i was so overwhelmingly happy to see the success that we had. some of my good friends and those other orange county districts and other california districts are part of this new hundred 16th democratic majority. >> where does your interest in the environment come from? >> it started when i was an undergrad at stanford. there was a lot of research going on with regard to climate change and the human impact of carbon emissions on our air and water. when i got to law school at duke university, they have a very fine environmental program. i knew that's where a lot of my interest was, passion was. we couldfigure out how advance the clean energy industry in a place like orange county which have historically been quite conservative. when he wasama first elected, they passed a recovery act in the wake of a
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big recession. they needed new investment in things like clean energy. that led to a lot of interest in a place like orange county for new solar and wind and waste energy. a wide variety of start up companies and clean energy. i worked first as an attorney representing those companies. i helped to found that nonprofit. i went in-house to some of those growing companies and got to dig into some very important policies. i'm so proud of what we achieved in california. i hope to bring that experience to bear in washington. >> orange county is considered republican territory to many. has it changed over the years? >> absolutely. we now have seven members of the congressional delegation, all are democrats. that's truly remarkable when you consider it's not that long ago that it was considered a bastion of conservatism. things have changed. in my district, mostly northern
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san diego county, i'm so proud of everyone who worked so hard. the volunteers, the grassroots who made every call. that's why we are here. we are here to do the people's work and represent the constituents of 49. i'm eager to get to work. >> you are replacing darrell issa who retired from that seat. why did you decide, now is the time to run? >> i been approached about this quite a while ago. back in 2013. my wife and i have two young kids at home. we decided a few years back with them being so young, it wasn't the right time. hard 2016, i worked very on secretary clinton's campaign for president. -- afterh the result the result, i was devastated.
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march the first women's right after the inauguration, january 21 of 2017. on the way home from that, my wife said, we are all in. if you don't have the support of , when she said that to me -- i knew that we were probably going to do it. we announced in march. we were off to the races. it's been an extraordinary journey. so grateful for all those who helped us along the way. they are now going to help us represent these constituents in our district well. >> beside your wife, who was to do hear from that convinced you, yes, i can run for the seat? havewas very fortunate to a great consultant, parks skelton who represents about 10 of us in southern california.
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one of the people that he represents who swung a red to blue district is adam schiff. chairman schiff was the first member of congress to endorse our campaign. it was his confidence that was a shot in the on for all who were involved in our campaign. we knew we had him on board. that led the way for many of his colleagues to get on board behind our campaign. a great deal of momentum. one thing led to another, it snowballed. we ended up winning the primary, a very tough primary. we have the top two primary system. that was really trial by fire. we went through that, we had a great general election. from darrelleard issa? >> yes. not only did i hear from him, i met with him.
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he was very gracious. he called on election night, right when it became apparent that we were going to win. he offered his help in the transition. i took him up on it by meeting with him during the first week of orientation. i stop by his office. they were moving out. i think he and i both respect the importance of the office and the important of maintaining consistency for thethey were mo. constituents, particularly those for whom we are doing casework to get local things done. we want to make sure that we have a seamless transition. that won't end with one meeting. i look forward to a good relationship. while we have differed on political issues, we agreed that the institution of the house is very important. the residence deserve a seamless transition. >> what advice did he give you? >> he pointed me to his
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beautiful view of the capital. offered the important work of the casework, making sure that we are always being mindful of the casework and constituent services. he recommended for me to go and look for bills that had been abandoned by retiring members that are nonetheless good ideas where we wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel but could maybe pick up some ideas. beyond that, it was an opportunity for us to maybe get better acquainted after the tumultuous campaign. i certainly respect his service. i'm grateful for the open door. i hope a dialogue with him in the future. >> how will you balance your work life out here and your family life back home with young kids? >> one day at a time. i'm thankful for technology like facetime and things like that.
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my commute will be every monday morning, i will get on an airplane and head east. every thursday, i will head back west. the key for me is to be there and present when i'm home. i want to make all sundays to whatever extent i can family days. i've been explicit with my staff on that regard. it's important that i'm visible in the district, meeting with constituents on fridays and doing a fence on saturdays. i'm hopeful that sunday can be family day. we have legoland in our district. i promised my kids a trip. they are just amazing kids. they are precocious and intelligent. my six-year-old really does understand what it is that mommy and daddy just embarked on and what this means. i think he's excited. i will miss him, i will miss my daughter and wife. we are going to make it work.
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as soon as my wife turned to me two years ago and said, we are all in, we both understood the magnitude of that decision and the important work that needs to be done on behalf of our district. that's what we set out to do. that's ultimately a mutual decision. one that i'm grateful to of had the opportunity to pursue. your children say to you, what was their reaction when they found out that you one? >> my son and daughter were at election night for the victory speech. i remember looking at my son in particular, he was in the front row. my daughter was running around. just the look of overwhelming joy that only a child can have. it was really annexed or dairy very moment. i will never forget it. i think he understood. win,nly did he win -- we he understood that mom and dad were embarking on this for a purpose greater than themselves.
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to try to serve the people and interests larger than just for our own family, for families everywhere. i hope he carries that forward. consider that their mom and dad care about serving a cause greater than themselves. >> what will be your priorities out here? ,> as an environmental attorney i'm hoping i can work with others who are like-minded to restore our global leadership on climate change. i'm sure you saw the climate assessment that just came out on black friday. to dig deeper into the specific economic impacts to the southwest united states. it's very troubling. we have around one dozen years to put into play some very aggressive policies. we have to set the foundation now.
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that's going to require bold to stake being willing claim to some pretty aggressive policies. we've done it in california. we've gotten bipartisan support. we were able to move the needle, we were able to pass significant clean energy legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to dramatically increased appointment of electric vehicles and clean transportation to improve building standards. i think we can do the same at the federal level if we figure out the right plan and the right tactics to get there. i'm very hopeful that we can make it happen. >> new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. >> c-span "washington journal" live everyday with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning,
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democratic pollster ben winston and republican pollster discuss the government shutdown and the 2020 presidential race and andrew cohen talks about his book on the role and history of special prosecutors. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern on sunday morning. join the discussion. a e grew up -- that he was bad kid running amok on the waterfront in baltimore. he never lived on the waterfront in baltimore. internalized the idea that he must have been bad. why else would neither one of his parents have wanted him.
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our guest, the author of life to ave bell fella, babe ruth. it becomes a legend that he is standing at home plate. the cubs are yelling at him. the yankees are yelling at the clubs . he raises one finger wub one strike and and two strikes and then points out to the bleachers and allegedly says i'm going the hit the next one. jane levy sunday night at 8:00 a.tern on c-span's q & > now nina totenberg discusses her political report with bill press. this is an hour.


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